Weakest links on playoff teams

The Panthers' defense sacked Colin Kaepernick six times during a Nov. 10 victory in San Francisco. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The NFL is all about matchups and weaknesses, and this is even more true come playoff time.

Once those weaknesses are diagnosed, exploiting them is the next step, then doing so relentlessly until the opponent makes a tactical or personnel change to help cure what ails it. Of course, such changes expose another weakness, as no team is perfect.

With eight teams left in the NFL's postseason tournament, here's a look at one player from each team that is his club's weakest link -- a player that the opponent will try to exploit this weekend.


Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Considering Kaepernick is one of the game's most talented and athletic young quarterbacks, and has somewhat quietly had a very good season, including him here might seem a little odd. But I have to think the Panthers' plan will be to make him beat them as a pocket passer.